This is a story I wrote with the characters of ridersoftheapocalypse and s-kinnaly, the Zelgan fankids based on the universe of figmentforms (those three tumblr artists are awesome, please go support them), and my own fankids coming from my Undertale story We grew up under the sun. I really enjoyed writing this, first because it was fun, second and most important because Kinnaly and Riders helped me through their work to find inspiration again for my own stories when I was feeling down. So this work is kind of a thank you to them ^^ Of course this isn't canon, sort of AU ? And nothing romantic (I suck at writing this), more something close to friendship. But thank you for letting me use your characters :) (and a huge HUG to Tori Aoshiro for the beta-lecture)
In this story Covarog and Arial are around twelve.
Covarog and Ralnor belong to ridersoftheapocalypse and s-kinnaly
Arial belongs to me
A Tale of two rulers belongs to figmentforms
The legend of Zelda belongs to Nintendo
Undertale belongs to Toby Fox
It was a new moon night.
Usually the darkness helps the livings to fall asleep, and yet Covarog was perfectly awake. Lying silently in his bed, he was staring at the ceiling, invisible in the absence of light. But he didn't care about what was above his head – he was paying attention to what was inside of it. His mind repeated the course of the day and once again he reminisced about those words.
Words of violence.
Words of hate.
The insults spat at him and his brother.
The venomous sentences thrown at his face while he was dodging the strikes of the young nobleman, and Ralnor behind them holding his nose in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
A fight initiated by boys that had the same age as Covarog but they didn't care about that resemblance. They were only focused on the fact the princes were half Gerudo, sons of the pig demon.
Then Covarog beat them for good, they fled and he could take care of his brother. When he asked him if he was alright, Ralnor simply answered « No ».
Neither was Covarog.
And here he was, lying with open eyes, still asking himself why people could hate someone just because of what they were. He knew he'd never have an explanation – but at least he wished he could share these thoughts.
But I cannot, he told himself. For his family, for his title of prince, he had to stay strong. He didn't want to look weak because he was complaining.
"But it hurts, for Hylia's sake !"
He immediately clasped a hand on his mouth for saying it out loud. He waited for a voice, a movement, asking him what that was. Fortunately, no one had heard him and he sighed with relief.
Of course he wanted to talk about it with someone. But he didn't know whom. His parents were busy ruling the kingdom; surely they would comfort him, but this kind of situation already happened several times and he didn't want to worry them more than they actually were. Rinku… Well, Rinku was travelling in a faraway land so she couldn't help him right now. As for Ralnor, he too was struggling with those obscure feelings and it would be the worst idea to add another burden on his shoulders.
But then, who could understand the prince's grief, apart from his family? Who would listen to him without any judgement, but with care and sympathy?
After a moment of reflection, Covarog sat up straight in his bed, closed his eyes and joined his hands.
"Goddesses," he began to pray softly. "Please lend an ear to my request. Is there anyone who would accept to listen to my sorrow, I beg you, send them to me. Be they angel or demon, I do not care. I just wish someone to whom I, the mixed blood, could confess."
He stayed still, waiting for a sign, anything. Only the silence met him. He continued to wait until hope slowly faded. He let his hands drop at his sides before hugging his knees and burying his face between them. How long he remained in this position, he did not know, but it felt time-consuming for sure.
Until he heard the lullaby.
At first, he thought it was just an illusion, but the humming kept going, a chant, a melody without lyrics. It was soft, something that called memories, which one Covarog couldn't guess, but that nostalgia sounded pleasant and peaceful.
The prince grasped a candle, brought a tiny flame to life and with this small light which pierced timidly the grim atmosphere, he began to look for the mysterious singer. Soon he found the source of the song, coming from the balcony. He opened the gates and at this motion the singer went quiet. A petite figure was sitting across the railing. But despite the candle Covarog was holding he couldn't figure out any of its features.
"Who's there ?" he asked.
"Who," responded a voice which sounded very, very young.
Taken aback by this confusing answer, he nevertheless asked:
"Who who ?"
"Didn't know you were an owl."
The petite figure giggled while Covarog was clearly puzzled.
"Was that some sort of pun ?"
"Yup, but looks like it didn't sound pun-tastic to you."
Covarog couldn't help but lightly upturn his lips. Alright, this one was not bad.
"Hey, you're smiling !" happily exclaimed the figure. "That's a good start."
He arched an eyebrow.
"What do you…"
"'Be they angel, be they demon, I do not care'. You called for help, and neither angel nor demon came, but a child just like you."
A spark of hope built in Covarog's chest. Of course the rational part of his mind was telling him it was absolutely not safe to trust a stranger who maybe was just acting and had less than friendly intentions. But for Hylia's sake, he immediately responded to himself, there was nobody there when he went to bed and this balcony was thousands of meters above the ground! Only someone with great powers – someone sent by the goddesses for example – could get here. And above all, if this person wanted to cause harm, in that case they shouldn't have sang nor manifest their presence at all.
"Would you come closer, please ?" asked Covarog politely. "I want to take a better look at you."
He couldn't help being curious. What did the goddesses messenger look like? By 'child', were they talking about their age or appearance? And did they have a name? What was it?
But then his mind went blank when the candle lit the pale face. The skin was ivory, as white as the snow, and the short wavy hair had the same color. Their big cheerful eyes were what caught his attention: entirely black with small white pupils. What kind of people had such incredible eyes? It was like this being was monochrome, and the only color was the adorable nightgown they – she was wearing, a light blue like a summer sky.
She smiled, one of the warmest smiles Covarog had ever seen. Then she gently waved.
"Greetings, unknown child. My name's Arial. Nice to meet you."
He smiled in return. Whoever this person was, her aura was like an angel's despite what she had said earlier.
"It is a pleasure to meet you too. My name is Covarog."
For once, she had won her bet. Usually at a first meeting people used to jump backwards when they saw her appearance. However, either this kid was good at hiding his surprise or he really was not feeling uncomfortable about what she looked like. Both points were good points so she wasn't going to complain.
When the human-skeleton heard the request, at midnight, half-asleep, she first thought it was a dream. But it contained so much distress that she wanted to comfort the hurt one even if it was just her imagination. Instinctively, she activated her magic and before she could react she was led to this place.
Once again, her shortcuts had tricked her. Was it that difficult not to travel through space during the night? Seriously at least she could get enough sleep before doing anything! But she quickly stopped to grudge in order to look around and examine the place where she had ended. The fact it was night didn't really help but wow, she could guess that this building was HUGE. It had the shape of a castle: it reminded her of the one in the Underground, the castle of king Asgore, her grandfather. At bedtime, when she was little, her mom often told her how amazed she was the first time she had seen it in Waterfalls, a massive yet gorgeous and breathtaking mansion like the ones you could read about in fairytale books, shining in the dim landscape punctuated by tiny floating glimmers. Then her mom would hum the melody she had heard in this place, coming from a music box.
And now that Arial was sitting on this balcony, in front of this castle made of darkness, she thought that maybe, because the melody belonged to a world of sparks, singing it would light up this one.
So her voice broke the silence. How long lasted the chant, she didn't pay attention, but she succeeded: her eyes caught the sight of the flame – she always liked the fire – and the friendly face behind it. Wait, who still used candles in the 21st century? Was this kid's family old fashioned or something? But a part of her mind whispered that maybe she was the advanced one and, quite unbelievably but possibly, a stranger in this world. There were no artificial lights around, no sign of technology. Moreover, this boy was neither human nor monster judging by both his looks and soul.
You know what, thought Arial while she internally shrugged, I don't care. I'm too lazy to worry about that.
The child in front of her had the same smooth voice that had called her. He had toffee skin and long red hair which was absolutely stunning, but more or less than the twins' she was not sure. Surely making a contest between these three would be inc-red-ible (she tried not to chuckle at her own joke). He had large ocean eyes with a tinge of bravery and integrity but also sorrow. Yet the sparks of something she couldn't put her finger on almost hid the last feeling.
Once they introduced themselves to each other, he chivalrously invited her to come in, which she immediately accepted because okay, a balcony was a cool place and she was speaking about the temperature, if she stood there for another second she would catch a cold without a doubt. Thanks god the room was warm. Both of them sat down on a comfy sofa, Arial cross-legged while Covarog remained straight. They stayed awkwardly silent, without knowing what to say.
She broke the silence first.
"For a confession, it's quite silent."
"Sorry, it is just… I don't know where to begin."
"Are you alone, Covarog?"
"…What do you mean?"
"Is there nobody around who could listen to you? Is that why you called me, an outsider who doesn't know anything about you?"
He exposed to her his musing from earlier.
"I just want… need someone without prejudice. Would you accept to listen to me, to listen to my words?"
"Of course," she said softly with another gentle smile.
So he began. He talked about the people who were nasty to him when he was just a baby, who picked on him when he was growing up, who acted the same way towards his brother. He told her that other children never wanted to play or just spend some time with him, told her about the mockeries, the cold glares from the adults, the hateful whispers, sometimes fights, but mostly small mean gestures cumulated over and over the years.
He spoke and spoke, words flowing from his mouth like a waterfall, words instead of tears which she welcomed into her hands without a flinch. She didn't care about the bitter taste or the weight it held; she simply listened.
She could see the boy was trying not to cry or lose his composure. It was really brave of him, she thought, to stay strong while confessing all of what was on his mind. Kinda stupid too, because it wasn't good to hold back. But she was no one to judge.
Finally, he closed his lips. But she could see that his mind wasn't entirely at peace. Even if it was quite daring, she reached out a hand to softly stroke a lock of his hair. Confusion spread across Covarog's face, but her calm voice rose before he could say anything:
"You have beautiful hair."
Which added embarrassment on his face. She tried not to snort at his expression.
"No need to blush buddy, I'm just being honest with you. From what you told, strangers rarely compliment you, right? So I'm fixing this fact."
Taken aback by her words, he took a moment to whisper a thank you. She responded with a bright smile. Then she sighed, her cheerful expression disappearing, and let her shoulders drop.
She seemed tired.
"People misunderstand what's different from them, because they believe that others don't think as they do. This unknown parameter, this misunderstanding brings fear, and when you're afraid you push away, erase what scares you. When they look at you, they don't see you, they just see something different. They don't care about the fact we're living beings with feelings."
The truth of those words hit him directly at the core.
"You're speaking as if you personally knew this kind of experience…"
"I do, Covarog. I have been through it many times."
The eyes of the boy widened. Arial added, more to herself:
"I think it's the reason why I was sent here…"
Another short silence. Then the prince stared straight into her eyes, these strange eyes, and asked:
"Who are you, Arial?"
"I don't know if I am allowed to tell you. But I can give you a clue: like your parents, mine are not from the same species. And half-breed children are not often accepted."
Covarog nodded in acknowledgement.
"What do you do… when you're confronted with that kind of people?"
"I smile. I show them that I don't care about their venom. If it hurts, I hold back my tears and then I cry when nobody can see me, preferably with someone who cares about me and comforts me. But in the face of hate, I use my tongue, my language to defeat it. I show them how pathetic, how cowardly they are because they don't want to accept that I scare them, that I am better than they are, those consanguineous narrow-minded ones. I tell them I am the proof that love, this love which gave me birth, doesn't care about what you look like, that I am unique, and I don't want to blend in like every 'normal' people. If being normal means living in the shadows, being a faceless person in the crowd mimicking the others, then no thanks, I'm not interested. That would be so boring and depressing. Unfortunately it's painful to be brave and to hold your head up. But we never give up in my family. We don't care if others call us naive: to live the way we want to, we are filled with DETERMINATION."
When her throat went soundless, so did the room. Covarog, impregnated with her words, stared blankly at her.
"Hello? Earth to Covarog? I'm done pal, you can breathe."
"I… I apologise, I got lost in my thoughts."
"Nah, it's okay. I got a bit carried away, sorry."
"N-No you don't have to apologize! What you said… That was impressive."
She fell backwards on the sofa, her hand touching her forehead in a melodramatic way.
"Oh no, I'm being crushed by your words, look at me I'm so flat-tered!"
Did Covarog actually hear a rimshot when she blurted this joke?
"Oh come on, why didn't you smile like earlier?"
"You have a… um… particular sense of humor."
"Admit it, you were about to say tear-ible."
"No, I wasn't thinking of tear–" (then he got it) "Arial !" She bursted out laughing at his offended expression. "Stop making fun of me!"
"Oh-oh my god you should look at your face! You're trying not to giggle, I can see it!"
"No, I'm not!"
"Yes you are!"
"You're acting like a real child!"
"But I am a child!"
"That's not what I… Oh goddesses, I give up!"
He buried his face into a cushion while Arial was trying to calm down her cackles. They were so loud, she hoped nobody had heard them… She lightly pet his shoulder.
"Hey, are you alright? I'm sorry if I got you upset."
"I'm not," he responded, turning his face to hers. "But you're a very, very mischievous spirit."
"Ouch, that hurts," she exaggerated, holding a hand on her heart.
Covarog lightly pouted.
"Do you always act this way?"
"If it makes you feel better, yes."
She wasn't wrong. His mind was more at ease now.
And he was grateful to her for that.
He blinked several times. Tiredness was beginning to envelop him. His eyelids felt heavy and he rubbed one of them.
"Looks like someone's gotta go to sleep."
"Maybe so," said Covarog, trying to repress a yawn.
He gave her a smile, but couldn't repress the melancholy in his gaze.
"I suppose it is time to say goodbye…"
To his surprise, Arial turned her head away, looking embarrassed.
"I don't have enough energy to go home right now. Can I rest a bit here, pretty please?"
He nodded. One moment later she was wrapped in a warm blanket lying on the sofa, while he had returned to the comfort of the bed. Quietness filled the room until Covarog's voice rose up:
"Thank you, Arial."
It was simple yet meaningful. He couldn't see her reaction but he could hear the soft song coming from her lips, the same chant which had announced her arrival.
It sounded like a "thank you too".
Time elapsed and Covarog left the conscious world, the lullaby taking him to a peaceful place.
When he woke up the next morning, the room was empty. The blanket was folded on one side of the sofa. Then his eyes noticed the signs on his arm. The ink was written down in clumsy curls, as black as her eyes.
Whisper my name in the dark, and I'll come from the other side.
When Covarog joined his family for breakfast, Ralnor caught him humming a lullaby he had never heard before. But judging by his brother's bright expression, the younger guessed he had spent a good night.
She had been so exhausted she'd slept until midday. It wasn't the first time she would wake up late, but that still maddened her uncle Papyrus because she'd missed her spaghetti breakfast. Then Dad Sans added that indeed, she had slept a 'sloth', which enraged the other skeleton even more, shouting at his brother to stop his terrible puns and stomping angrily. Half of Arial's mind was giggling at the scene.
The other half was still thinking about the boy.
Covarog, huh. That's a nice name.
She had enjoyed his company, even if she didn't really like boys. She had been touched by his friendly gaze; in his eyes, she was no freak. And she was so curious about him and his world! She wanted to discover everyone and everything from the other side.
But was she allowed to? She had already broken a taboo by crossing the barrier between two worlds, even if she didn't know she was able to. Interfering in the other one would be a huge mistake.
And above all, even if the thought saddened her, she hoped he wouldn't call her anymore. Because if he did so, that would mean he had suffered once more. She wanted to believe he would pass through it and could count on his family. Why did he think he would be a burden with his problems? Parents and siblings were meant to support each other.
But after all, she knew little about his life. Maybe she should have asked him about his family. Maybe it was too difficult for him to tell his sorrow to the people he loved.
Maybe… Maybe she should stop questioning herself with maybes. She should wait and see.
If he calls her again, she will come without hesitation. And only then, he will help her figure it out, if he accepts to do so. Even if she's just supposed to be a watcher, this role doesn't keep her from trying to understand.
Although… There will be a moment when she will have to interfere. Because of two dorks.
After all, their actions are unpredictable. And nobody can predict the future.
Comments are welcomed ;) See you !